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What Does Relief of Charges Mean?

by Lisa

I recently received a request for relief of charges in my correspondence. I have been approved for benefits and have been receiving them for 5 weeks now. A temporary agency i worked for is filing this "relief" probably because i quit work there for a permanent position. This position proved not to be so and after a few months, i was laid off. Is this appeal going to affect my benefits?

Hi Lisa,

If all you saw was a request for, or the issue of Relief of Charges on a hearing notice, then it's likely the issue only affects the employer who laid you off and if it's Ohio, they want the charges for benefits paid to be mutualized .. which is just to say charged to the state's general UI fund and not it's SUTA (state unemployment tax account).

But, if there were other issues, specifically one regarding the cause of separation, then all bets are off, because generally speaking, whether an employer is relieved of charges, or not, for benefits paid to an unemployed person .. usually hinges on if it can prove fault, or rebut fault to explain why the employer wasn't at fault for the job separation reason.

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Nov 26, 2018
Please help Joe
by: Anonymous

REQUEST FOR RELIEF OF CHARGES - FACT FINDING I just received this about a previous employer before my full-time job laid off for three months.

Been receiving unemployment for five weeks now and just conference can you please answer whats happening

As I've said before, Relief of Charges, is an issue that generally affects employers, not claimants.

Except, it's an issue that underlies why employer's fight unemployment benefits so hard.

It has to with a fact many claimant's ignore, that when they receive unemployment benefits after being laid off for a lack of work, voluntarily quitting with good cause, or discharged for something other than work related misconduct, it's the employer who is charged with paying for a claimant's benefits through higher unemployment insurance tax/premiums. That tax rate is also called an "experience rating". And by experience .. the state means benefits paid out on behalf of an employer.

Although when I see the non-charging issue framed as "relief of charges" I think of Pennsylvania, all states have the issue. It's just that most states have very few provisions that allow for an employer to be non-charged for benefits when paid.

So, the issue of whether an employer should be charged is generally listed on hearing notices right along with the separation issue, should it turn out the cause for separation was subject to a special provision in unemployment law that allows an employer to not be charged.

Pretty sure both claimant and employer could call it a win/win .. when the stars align for such a thing to happen.

Being laid off due to a lack of work .. is not subject to non-charging, but in some states, a voluntary quit, due to health issues, or other personal reasons, beyond the control of both the claimant and employer, may be.

So the issue is usually listed with separation issues on hearing notices .. just in case .. because believe it or not, states erroneously charge employers for benefits paid .. even if the employer should not be charged to recoup the benefits back.

When an employer is relieved of charges, the benefits are charged to a state's general UI fund .. not an individual employer state unemployment tax account.


May 04, 2018
Re: Relief of charges in Ohio
by: Anonymous

Hi I have now woke up to more correspondence from Unemployment now asking about my other 2 employers I worked in my base month period. Another one that I quit for a better job and one I was fired from as well. It says it is a FACT FINDING notices for a relief of benefits.However Just like the last notice I received it does ask if I quit and/or what was the reason for the separation. This all confuses me because I always thought the last employer I worked at actually was charged for unemployment. Should I be worried? Basically they are asking for relief of charges for 3 past employers in which I worked in the last year. As I previously mentioned I have been receiving benefits for a few weeks now.

Hi Anonymous,

If it's a fact finder about those two seps, one a quit and one a discharge, then yes, you need to be available for the fact finder, as your assumption that only the last employer is charged for benefits isn't generally going to be correct, at least not in most states.

The last employment is generally, the separation that must be found to of not been your fault to collect a benefit amount based on all base period wages paid to you .. for instance, when someone is laid off for a lack of work, but then quits, or gets fired from subsequent work and reopens a claim to requalify for benefits.

If a person had more than one employer during their claim's base period, the way some states handle a disqualification, when the reason for a separation that occurred previous to the last employment is found to be misconduct, or a quit without good cause, can be to remove all the wage credits from those previous employers .. which in effect reduces the amount of a weekly benefit instead of requiring an individual to return to work and earn x times the full weekly benefit amount they qualify for.

Please note, I'm just offering some general information, I think should explain why it's a mistake, to assume incorrectly how UI works, as it may not be how Ohio benefits work specifically, monetarily speaking.

But you can figure out what may be going on by using the chartbooks at the USDOLETA, and/or reviewing the Ohio unemployment statutes for specifics about benefit disqualifications, or non charging provisions that allow for an employer to get a relief of charges.

You should find links to both on this page.

May 03, 2018
Relief of Charges in Ohio
by: Chris -

If you received a hearing notice and relief of charges is the only issue listed on it, the outcome shouldn't have any affect that would stop your benefits .. it's when there is a sep issue like voluntarily quitting and discharge listed along with a relief of charges .. you need to get concerned.

The employer is just doing what they need to .. because you did quit, and you must of worked long enough for them to be charged, but also in subsequent work that caused any denial of that VQ, to be purged.

The employer you quit over eight months ago is absolutely correct to appeal any charges for your benefits now that may be showing up on their charge statement.

When relieved of charges, that portion an employer might be paying toward you benefits, is mutualized which basically means pulled out of the state's general UI tax fund. All employer's pay a portion of the UI tax they pay on wages into for this sort of fund just for such circumstances, in addition to their own SUTA (state unemployment tax account).

May 03, 2018
Relief of charges in Ohio
by: Anonymous

I have been collecting unemployment in Ohio for a few weeks. I got a notice that a employer in my base weeks period is requesting a relief of charges. I quit that particular job due to it being part time and only worked there for 2 weeks. I then started a new full time job that I worked for 8 months and was fired for metrics. My base weeks are mainly made up from the job that fired me not the one I quit. My question is will my unemployment be stopped?

Feb 16, 2017
I need some help
by: JB

I got a for State of Ohio, request for relief of charges, potential mutualization notice. I resigned from a job I was at for 3 years due no traning and the company not fixing the problems with legal issues ie. Guns and paper work. I worked closely with the store manager to fix the issues with out success. I informed corp of issues with paper work and they did nothing so I talked to security and we both agreed it would be best for me to leave.

Guess my qyestion is. How should I write my appeal?
It is a State of Ohio, request for relief of charges, potential mutualization.... they want to know if I quit and why. I left for just cause but idk how to word my appeal or how to show proof.

Any advice will help.

Thanks JB

Here's an example of an unemployment appeal letter for claimants.

Just be sure to focus on proving the voluntary quit was with good cause.

But since you made a comment on a question about a relief of charges .. or in Ohio a mutalization of charges .. it's basically an issue that shouldn't concern you directly, but does concern an employer greatly .. since it doesn't happen all that often .. unless the claimant is found to be at fault for the cause of separation.

Many states include this issue of whether an employer's state unemployment tax account will be charged for any benefits paid .. on the hearing notice about good cause, or not for the separation.

Being charged for unemployment benefits when a claimant is initially found to of quit with good cause attributable to an employer, or has been fired for something not misconduct .. is why employers appeal initial non-monetary determinations and how I often explained the import to a witness who didn't want to attend a hearing.

There really aren't many causes for separation from a job that provide for a win/win scenario. Not even when a state has a provision for benefits for a voluntary quit with good personal cause .. meaning, the employer learns the hard way the state law would then need a corresponding non-charging provision for the employer to get relief of being charged for benefits.

When a state does have a non-charging provision benefits are pulled from from a state's "general unemployment fund".

Or the state unemployment tax account where a specified portion of all employer paid unemployment taxes go, for the purpose of of covering the cost of benefits vs. charging only the affected employer's account.

Of course in Ohio .. an employer being relieved of charges .. is called "mutualizing charges".

So, although not charged for the full amount of benefits via a tax hike until benefits paid, can be recouped by the state .. a non-charged employer still has contributed to the general fund .. for such laws that allow a VQ that does have a non-charging provision

It really is an employer rock and a hard place .. and if I were an employer and had to deal with the problem .. I too would fight benefits .. but I would hope I'd also remember there is a difference to recognize when fighting benefits for the right reasons .. the wrong reasons .. or just indifferent reasons .. including not caring what lies between the right reasons and wrong ones to know how to fight benefits .. ethically first and foremost.

Feb 21, 2015
Ohio Unemployment?
by: Chris

I'm guessing you're collercting Ohio benefts .. because it's the only state I know of that refers to "relief of charges" issue as "mutualization".

Which is another way of saying a portion of your benefits may have to come from a general state fund which a portion of all employers UI taxes go to. Otherwise, without relief of charges .. the benefits are charges to an employer's individual state unemployment tax account, via a higher tax rate.

Relief of charges is generally, an employer only issue, unless of course there is also a separation issue listed on a hearing notice you cannot ignore.

I don't think this will bother your benefits if you worked for your last employer long enough to meet the requirements of Ohio's voluntary quit disqualification.

Per the 2014 non-monetary state law comparison charts, Ohio's voluntary quit disqualification is .. 6 weeks in covered work + wages equal to 27.5%
of AWW.

AWW = Average Weekly Wage .. I don't think they mean your average ..but the state average weekly wage .. which I believe is also used to calculate any year to year bumps in the max and the amount of benefits paid in Ohio.

Feb 21, 2015
Relief of charges
by: Anonymous

I have been approved for unemployment and have been receiving benefits for about 5 weeks. The company I worked for prior to my most recent job (which laid me off for lack of work) has issued a "potential mutualization relief of charges" issue probably because I worked for them for two years and then quit for a better job. I let them know that i was quitting by writing a 2 week notice out like they asked. I then ended up calling in and quitting earlier because something with the new employment came up and i could not make it to work one day and i knew they would let me go for not coming in so i quit early. is this going to effect my benefits at all?


Oct 04, 2013
relief of charges
by: Pdiddy

They are trying to charge your previous employers to spread the cost. This will not effect your employment benefits. They are just trying to see if they can charge two or more employers for you compensation, other wise the last place you worked for will fit the bill.

Something along those lines Pdiddy, but I would never go so far as to say to an unemployment claimant a relief of charge hearing is always something not to wonder about.

Especially if it comes out at the charge hearing it was the state that made an "administrative error when they lost, or overlooked an employer's appeal and issue an overpayment determination to the claimant hoping they will just forget appealing and repay, or finally schedule the separation appeal hearing notice.


Apr 17, 2011
relief of charges
by: Anonymous

I recently received a request for relief of charges in my correspondence. I have been approved for benefits and have been receiving them for 6 weeks now. A company i worked for is filing this "relief" probably because they terminated me for violation of policy. Then i worked for another company for 6 months and got laid off. But the company they are charging i worked for 4 years. I thought maybe they should be charging the 1 i was laid off from but i don't know just really confused. Is this appeal going to affect my benefits ?


I'm assuming you are in PA .. right?

A request for relief of charges is pretty standard in PA .. It's not the same as requesting an appeal hearing though to argue the merits of whether you should be allowed benefits.

It's pertains to the employer ..

All states have "non-charging" provisions. .. Let's say you quit due to health reasons .. depending on the state and the cause of the health issue .. it is possible for benefits to be a win/win situation.

You get them .. and the employer's SUTA isn't charged for the benefits through the hiking of their unemployment tax rate.

You don't need to worry about the request for relief of charges.

May 28, 2010
relief of charges part 2
by: Anonymous

I don't understand how a base only period employer has the right to appeal a determination of benefits based on the last employer who is not in the base period? Please explain. I thought a base only employer has no rights to appeal in the state of ohio?


What? You thought a base period employer has no rights to appeal??

Please clarify what you want to know .. your question makes no sense, but I'll take stab at it anyway.

It sounds like you're asking if a base period employer can appeal your separation from a different employer .. they can't. They can only appeal your separation from them.

Of course employers have other kinds of appeals too that claimants do not need to be all that concerned with and really don't have anything to do with the separation except for the fact that benefits paid for a few types of separations are allowed to be "non-charged" to their account per statutes. Ohio call this "mutualization" which means instead of the employer being charged the cost of your benefits is moved to the "general fund" and basically keeps the employer's unemployment tax rate down.

When a state makes a mistake on an employer's tax account .. and they do .. or if the state makes them "request relief of charges" then a hearing might result if the charges don't come off.

Quite frankly, this is the type of question that would be a lot easier to answer if I could see the paperwork you received .. or if you had told me what the appeal stated.

Apr 23, 2010
by: techno

thank you Anonymous for clearing that up i am sure alot of people have the same question like i did

Sorry techno, I forgot to sign my name.

It's Chris

I do pretty much all the answering around here.

Apr 02, 2010
relief of charges
by: Anonymous

Will a relief of charges from a base period employer affect my benefits?


What I'm trying to tell you is that when an employer request relief of charges it is pretty much standard operating procedure .. especially for third party administrators which handle unemployment matters for employers.

There are very few reasons that an employer will be granted relief of charges.

It usually only happens when there is a provision in the statutes that allow for benefits for a claimants personal reason for quitting.

If they are allowed relief it wouldn't effect whether you get benefits or not .. it only effect the employer and if they are charged for your benefits.

Which they will probably be charged for if you refused an assignment .. therefore they will have to take the issue of the quitting to a hearing to get relief .. which means they could win at hearing.

This will effect your benefits because they will be stopped and the next thing you know .. you will receive and overpayment determination asking for the money back.

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